It has been a while since my last solo adventure at Guadalupe State Park. I had spent a night with friends in freezing temperatures back in December, but that’s neither here nor there. As always, I noticed a few things…
#1 Needs Improvement
- I wrote this list down on paper and thought about posting scans of the pages. I looked at my terrible handwriting and thought better of it.
- I think I like taking Blanco Road up to the park instead of 281, fewer lights and a more relaxed drive.
- Also more jackasses tailgating you on the slower parts, but what can you do?
- Had to take a site with electricity due to the water-only campsites being worked on, oh well.
- Nothing like that OH GOD, PLEASE DON’T BREAK feeling when putting up tent poles.
- Of course the sun comes out after I set up the tent and go hiking.
- Sound that I don’t miss: Vehicles.
- Yes, I have my phone on me, for pictures. With the ringer muted and my smartwatch on, I don’t have to worry about missing calls.
- There aren’t many people here, which is nice.
- Since I don’t go outdoors as often as I should, I find myself constantly wondering what all the noises are.
- Lots of butterflies about, even managed to photograph a few.
- More work in the park being done near the river, not sure what’s going on there.
- Beginning of hike: Feels good! One hour later: Whew! Nearing camp on the hike back: OMG ARE WE THERE YET?
- Got spooked by a large bird taking off from the branches above me, nothing like that WOOSH of big wings flapping.
- As I neared camp, I wondered if maybe I should have packed sandwiches instead of canned food.
- Surprised I haven’t burned off my eyebrows from lighting my camp stove yet.
- It’s nice to have camping cooking equipment instead of borrowing from the kitchen.
- Upon further review, hot food for lunch hit the spot!
- Slightly disappointed that I still have a cell signal, but at the same time it’s good to know it’s there.
- I’d been going nuts trying to find one of my flashlights only to find I had left it in my tent when I folded it up back in April.
- Note to self: Take the picture first before trying to move in closer. Armadillos spook easily.
- Also: Don’t only pack food things that contribute to heartburn. Off to H-E-B.
- Yes, I always have to say ‘LET THERE BE LIGHT’ whenever I light my lantern.
- Had a story idea pop in my head mid-afternnon. It had an unfortunate ending until a more optimistic one came to me during dinner. Don’t write when hangry if you want happy endings.
- If you like them, they’re ‘critters,’ if you don’t, they’re ‘varmints.’
- They had better not be any awoo-ing while I’m trying to sleep tonight.
- Heard a bunch of what I hope were fireworks at around 8:24pm.
- This being Texas, gunfire isn’t necessarily unusual, though.
- Shop towels aren’t bad for washing dishes.
- Always gotta find that one dark spot in camp for, how can I put it, ‘taking care of business’ without having to walk to the men’s room 😀
- Got spooked by a pair of raccoons fighting in a nearby tree.
- I had put up my food and know to not feed the wildlife, so to the victor, go no spoils.
- I’m not saying I’m paranoid about raccoons, but I’m making damn sure the Excelsior (my Honda CR-v) is locked whenever I’m not nearby.
- Almost fell into temptation during the trip to H-E-B, but avoided stopping at the Whataburger across the street for dinner.
- Thing I forgot: Radio.
- Idea: Replace the ‘nut-buster’ tripod chair I use in the tent with a small beanbag.
- Nice to know the animal I’ve been hearing for the last half hour was just an armadillo
- Armadillos are noisy!
#17 A perfect fit!
- My battery pack can charge my phone all the way…now that I have a smaller phone!
- The overnight weather was perfect, cool without being too cold.
- I chose poorly at breakfast; sometimes a McDonald’s McGriddle isn’t worth the lousy service.
- Going to pass by my old office on the drive home, going to be hard to not flip the bird at the building as I pass.
#25: Darn skippy
After (too many) years since my last trip to the iconic Texas summer getaway, I decided to take stay for a night to see if anything had changed since then. I’m glad to say that the park is mostly the same, but I did notice a few things…
- It is only a two hour drive from San Antonio to Garner, as opposed to three and a half from my parent’s house. WHAT TOOK ME SO LONG?
- I took Highway 90 on the way over, and will likely take the ‘scenic route’ on the way home.
- Shocked to find hardly any vehicles at the park office, think I picked a perfect time to come!
- Temperature notwithstanding, anyway.
- Slept without the benefit of air conditioning at home the night before to prepare myself. Not too hard.
- Resisting the urge to turn on my CR-V’s air conditioner on the drive over, however, was quite difficult!
- Lost my cell signal somewhere between Sabinal and the park. Didn’t miss it…
- Okay, maybe I missed it a little, but that’s because I’m waiting to hear back about an interview.
- Despite the low number of cars at the park office, I still had to wait a bit.
- I pulled number 70 and the last one helped was 65. People have no patience!
- My original plan was to stay two nights, but I shortened it to one…maybe once it isn’t a billion degrees out.
- It has been so long, I only have vague memories, but a few were jostled loose when I drove by the campsite I (think) I stayed in last time.
Upon reaching my site, I had to take a picture of my CR-V like it’s in one of those SUV commercials.
- Set up my tent only to find the zipper on the door isn’t working quite right. Crap.
- Only packed sandwiches and snacks to eat; I have no desire to prepare or eat any hot food while I’m here.
- Not bringing my stove and any food to heat up made packing harder somehow.
- Chili lime chips are the closest I’ll get to heat today.
- I’m keeping my Pebble Time smartwatch on even though my cell phone is kaputski. It still works as a pedometer, and well, a watch.
- Hiked down to the riverbank, had the obligatory ‘slip on the muddy ground/slick rocks’ moment.
- It is hard to resist taking panoramic pictures. Some beautiful country, here.
- Finding trash around cheeses me off, and I pick up what I can.
- I can appreciate the irony in the gift shop selling bottle openers.
- Yes, I bought one, because why not?
- Picked up a cane sugar Dr. Pepper from the ‘Stinkin’ Sweet’ candy store to make sure it wasn’t defective.
- Also bought a bumper sticker. Thanks to some unintended help from Verizon (see #7) it’s pretty easy to stay unplugged.
- Didn’t do any tubing, but went for a refreshing swim by the dam.
- Is there a rule that says the only people that buy portable speakers have to have the crappiest taste in music?
- The tube/paddleboat rental shack is no more, replaced by a trailer.
- They also have a food truck ‘Garner Grill.’ Dunno if they have tacos.
- Spent most of the afternoon sitting at my campsite, listening to the radio and working on this list.
- I also spent about twenty minutes just looking at birds.
- Didn’t do much, really, but that’s kind of the point.
- My $15 Emerson analog radio picks up The Eagle from San Antonio, yet my CR-V doesn’t. Huh.
- Jackrabbits are freaking HUGE.
- Saw a guy walk into the men’s room shower followed by his dog. Damn furries.
- Garner Grill has the best food truck slogan ever: “Where fat free can take a hike.” No tacos, though.
- They did have burgers, of which I partook. Hooray for convenience!
- Got a story idea while waiting for my food. Hooray for inspiration!
- I was a little surprised at how active the wildlife got once the sun went down.
- Annoying music coming from a car at a nearby camp. If his battery dies, and they ask: No, I don’t have jumper cables.
- Annoying music stops, and I can now hear music coming from somewhere else. *sigh*
- You don’t know how sunburned you are until try to go to sleep.
- It was a fitful night’s sleep. I’m not sure if it was the heat or my bedding that kept me up.
- One night of tent camping is definitely enough in Texas’s August heat.
- The scenic route home was a fun little drive.
- I look forward to coming back when the temperature isn’t so brutal!